Document Detail

Land clearing and the biofuel carbon debt.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18258862     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Increasing energy use, climate change, and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuels make switching to low-carbon fuels a high priority. Biofuels are a potential low-carbon energy source, but whether biofuels offer carbon savings depends on how they are produced. Converting rainforests, peatlands, savannas, or grasslands to produce food crop-based biofuels in Brazil, Southeast Asia, and the United States creates a "biofuel carbon debt" by releasing 17 to 420 times more CO2 than the annual greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions that these biofuels would provide by displacing fossil fuels. In contrast, biofuels made from waste biomass or from biomass grown on degraded and abandoned agricultural lands planted with perennials incur little or no carbon debt and can offer immediate and sustained GHG advantages.
Joseph Fargione; Jason Hill; David Tilman; Stephen Polasky; Peter Hawthorne
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.     Date:  2008-02-07
Journal Detail:
Title:  Science (New York, N.Y.)     Volume:  319     ISSN:  1095-9203     ISO Abbreviation:  Science     Publication Date:  2008 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-02-29     Completed Date:  2008-03-13     Revised Date:  2008-07-23    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0404511     Medline TA:  Science     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1235-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
The Nature Conservancy, 1101 West River Parkway, Suite 200, Minneapolis, MN 55415, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Carbon Dioxide* / metabolism
Crops, Agricultural
Energy-Generating Resources*
Greenhouse Effect
Plants* / growth & development,  metabolism
Time Factors
United States
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Soil; 124-38-9/Carbon Dioxide; 7440-44-0/Carbon
Comment In:
Science. 2008 Jun 13;320(5882):1419   [PMID:  18556531 ]
Science. 2008 Jun 13;320(5882):1419-20   [PMID:  18556532 ]
Science. 2008 Jun 13;320(5882):1420-1   [PMID:  18556533 ]
Science. 2008 Jun 13;320(5882):1421-2; author reply 1421-2   [PMID:  18556534 ]
Science. 2008 Jul 11;321(5886):201   [PMID:  18621655 ]
Science. 2008 Jul 11;321(5886):199-201; author reply 199-201   [PMID:  18621653 ]

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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